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Strong Bench Play Leads Men’s Basketball Past Clark

Strong Bench Play Leads Men’s Basketball Past Clark

WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Jason Bird (Raynham, Mass.) contributed 24 points off the bench as the Connecticut College men's basketball team used a late run to knock off Clark by a 79-68 score at the Kneller Athletic Center on Tuesday evening.

The teams found themselves tied at 63-all down the stretch before engaging in a 3-point shooting contest to establish an edge. Connecticut College went ahead when sophomore Ben Bagnoli (East Haven, Conn.) nailed a trifecta from the left arc, and Bird followed by canning a trey from the left corner to prompt a Cougar timeout with 3:22 remaining. The break in the action could not cool off the Camels, as junior David Labossiere (Stoneham, Mass.) converted a layup and Bird added two 3-point plays to close out a streak of 14 unanswered and give the visitors more than enough insurance to escape with the win.

After four exchanges of the lead in the early going, Connecticut College (3-2) burst ahead when Labossiere nailed a 3-pointer to make it 10-8 and kickstart a 14-5 run for the visitors. Clark, however, recovered and went ahead by a 32-31 score when Luca McCormick converted from downtown and then got back-to-back buckets from John Pisacreta down the stretch to take a narrow 41-39 advantage into the recess.

Clark got off to a hot start in the second half, as Pisacreta hit consecutive 3-point field goals to give Clark a 47-39 lead in the opening minute. Connecticut College, however, chipped away at the deficit and moved ahead when Bird drove in for a layup to break a 52-52 tie with 12:11 left. Even though they were challenged in the final minutes, the Camels never trailed again and used a 14-0 run to register their third victory of the young season.

"We are pleased and fortunate to get our first road win," said head coach Tom Satran. "We improved some tonight and hopefully learned a bit too."

Bird contributed 24 points by shooting 9-of-11 from the field, including 5-of-7 from long range, and 1-of-1 at the line to lead the way for Connecticut College. Led by Bird, the Camels had a commanding 38-7 advantage in bench points. Labossiere contributed a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards, while Bagnoli dished out a game-high seven assists.

Clark (2-3) was paced by Pisacreta's 25-point effort in the setback. McCormick notched a double-double with 18 points to go along with 13 rebounds, and Biko Gayman finished with 11 points.

Connecticut College will remain on the road and visit St. Joseph's (L.I.) on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m.